Fight club

Heavy-duty lightweight: In a sport plagued by failed comebacks, Diego “Chico” Corrales became the exception to the rule on Saturday night. The Sacramento fighter knocked out Acelino Freitas in the 10th round, to win the World Boxing Organization lightweight title. Ironically, Freitas lost because he quit, something Corrales has never done.

Say this for the Oak Park kid: Whether it’s being drilled to the canvas five times by , having a hole punched in his cheek by Joel Casamayor or serving a 14-month jail sentence that all but left him in the ranks of the forgotten (“The rises and falls of Diego Corrales” by Jason Probst; SN&R News; April 17, 2003), Corrales can go the distance.

“I’m a warrior in there, and you’re going to have to kill me to beat me,” Corrales told Bites on Monday. Happily, Bites doesn’t have to attempt either. Freitas, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky.

The formerly undefeated Brazilian was spry and sharper in the early rounds, but Corrales—a notoriously slow starter—crept closer and closer, ratcheting up the pressure and flooring Freitas in the eighth, ninth and 10th rounds.

“We knew this guy would get tired, and that was our game plan,” said Corrales, “to take him into the second half of the fight.”

Finally, Freitas had seen enough. He rose wearily, looked at his corner and then at Corrales, and quit. Just like that, Freitas—a national hero in Brazil, with 35 straight victories—decided he’d had enough.

The 26-year-old Corrales wasn’t the faster or flashier fighter, but fortitude and resilience saw him through. “I’ve been at the bottom, and I’ve been at the top. I know what it’s like to have everything taken away from me,” Corrales told Bites. “This win feels great.”

You can charge for my parking permit after you pry it from my cold, dead fingers: Corrales wasn’t the only one who came out swinging last week. City Parking Facilities Division officials have been meeting with unanimous disapproval of their plan to add fees to residential parking permits in central Sacramento. The proposal calls for a yearly $5-per-car fee throughout a 574-square- block area, to be phased in over a two-year period.

“Nobody’s excited to see these fees implemented,” understated Parking Facilities Division General Manager Howard Chan last week at a meeting of the McKinley Elvas Neighborhood Alliance, where riled downtown residents expressed their frustration.

At a Fremont Park meeting the following evening, Marion Millin dismissed the plan as “another form of taxation.” Others in the room complained loudly that, until they could be guaranteed the right to park in front of their own homes, the city had no business charging them for the privilege.

Parking Facilities Division official Mike Melvin responded that the permit plan “never guaranteed a place to park in front of your home” but that the city recently had acquired some “very cool, high-technology equipment,” including new license-plate-recognition software and a “boot truck” to help it crack down on scofflaws.

Millin countered that the city is oversaturating residential areas with new businesses without putting in any new parking. The result is fierce competition between residents and hyperactive valet attendants. She invited Melvin to spend some time with her on Capitol Avenue watching the “parking follies” she and her neighbors witness on a typical evening.

Officials said the city wants “to close some of the loopholes” in the existing system, which is subject to “fraud and abuse” by homeowners who sell the free permits, often to employees of businesses such as the UC Davis Medical Center or Mercy General Hospital, whose own yearly parking permits cost as much as $400.

One gentleman at the Fremont Park meeting said he had heard state employees offering $80 for permits meant for residents of the downtown area. He offered to volunteer his time for enforcement, and then he grumbled loudly as Melvin suggested the paid staff was capable of enforcing regulations.

Although officials say the fees are “far from being a forgone conclusion,” Capitol Avenue resident Carolanne Owens wasn’t so sure. As she watched them record the public’s comments for their recommendations to the city council on September 28, she echoed the sentiments of many in attendance at both meetings when she said, “They’re blowing smoke up our ass.”